Spring Soup with Shrimp, Fennel and Leeks

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The weather has taken a turn for the chilly here in sunny California, instead of a balmy 85-95ºF (30-35ºC), we’ve had a rather breezy 65-75ºF (18-24ºC). I can hear the groans already. No, I haven’t already become accustomed to warm, pleasant weather in which showing your toes and your knees is acceptable. No, I haven’t forgotten that for 50 weeks of the year in England you have to leave the house with an umbrella, winter coat and wellies. I am simply stating that the tropical weather we experienced for the past week or so has shifted to a much more spring-like mix of breezy and cloudy. This means that a different type of spring cuisine comes onto the menu, the spring soup!

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Spatchcocked Chicken with Herb Butter

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Another Sunday, another roast. We hadn’t planned ahead for this one, so the options were limited to the supermarket offerings. As we browsed the meat aisle the leg of lamb bleated longingly at me, but our wallets insisted we have chicken – although with Easter just around the corner and a beautiful lamb post on Cooking in Sens which definitely got the roasting juices flowing, lamb may be on the menu yet!

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Parsnip Soup with Blue Cheese Toasts

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Break out the violins and get your hankies ready, this is the story of a dinner for one. I found myself on my own the other night and without any dinner. There were no suitable leftovers, actually no leftovers at all because it’s getting to that time of the month where we find ourselves using up frozen treasures and store cupboard staples. So there I was, alone and hungry with very few options beyond a handful of frozen corn and some canned tomatoes. All by myself, don’t wanna be…Ok, that’s going a bit far.

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An Italian-Inspired Dinner Party

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Minted Zucchini Crostini

Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Fennel Seeds, Chilli and Garlic
Celery Root Mash
Green Beans with Breadcrumbs and Pinenuts

Lemon Cheesecake

Some of our close friends had family visiting from Poland last week and, as ever, I looked at that as the opportunity for a dinner party. Dinner parties seem to have this stigma, this pretentious air about them which puts people off. In our house they are simply an excuse to have good friends over, drink lots of wine and, of course, for me to get in the kitchen and cook up a three course meal.

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